May 26, 2010 Subject:
Rollins' Ancient History
This early 18th century work is a fascinating step back in time. The grasp of history that these scholars had, meticulously studying the great works of Greco-Roman antiquity as well as citing teachers contemporary to Rollins' time, is as solid, if not more so, than scholars today often possess. I know college students that would be challenged just by Rollins' Preface (and high school students that would throw up their hands in defeat over the first few pages).
Remember that what appears to be the letter "f" is not always "f", but frequently the letter "s". This alone will be very valuable to help read the text. The polite or 'flowery' tone will be awkward to today's readers, as will be the complex and compound sentence structures and passive voice. If you write down every name and place, look up every mountain and river on a map, you will discover fairly soon that this is a history with substantial depth and scope.
I would suspect that the student who has finished the base encyclopedia reading, and then tried to tackle this book, will find the more modern histories of the covered times and places much more familiar and comprehensible. It will take, and be, an investment, so don't save it for the day before the test or just before the paper is due.